My son wears Converse. He wears them until his toes peep through the canvas. I can’t get upset, he comes by this habit honestly, I’ve worn red Converse tennies since my early twenties. And, like him, I find it hard to part with my favorite comfy shoe. In fact, Converse gets passed down from me to my daughters and my son hands what is left of his to his brother or cousin.
There is a particular crowd that loves these colorful, customizable flats more than others, artists. I discovered an underground of Chuck lovers at a artist’s expo downtown when I first moved to Cleveland. That is really all I remember of the meetings, the sea of Chucks under the tables.
Converse quickly wind up dirty, ripped, snagged, stretched and in a nutshell-ugly. It is important to treat ugly converse with the respect they deserve. Classic chucks are an iconic cultural figure and your use and abuse over the years brought them to the sad state they are in.
If you are so inclined, fix up your ugly Converse with one or more of the following items;
Cleaning supplies; OxiClean , white vinegar, baking soda, old toothbrush, plastic grocery bags, WD-40
Art supplies; gems, glue, ribbons, paint, needle and thread
Magazines, comic books, decoupage glue
- Wash the Converse. Possibly what you see as ugly, is merely a thick layer of dirt. Remove the laces. Wash in the sink with mild detergent. OxiClean , or a paste of white vinegar and baking soda can be scrubbed in with an old toothbrush for stubborn stains on neglected converse. Once rinsed, stuff the toe with plastic grocery bags and set out to dry. Do not put in the dryer. If you do, bad stuff will happen, the rubber will loosen, the shoe will fade, or yellow and it is a fire hazard. So do not use a clothes dryer. Fix the ugly Converse soles with a tiny squirt of WD-40 to remove any black scuff marks.
- Run a strip of duct tape along the edge where the canvas meets the sole. This area is notorious for coming apart. Use classic silver grey duct tape, or try a color that matches the shoe, or wildly contrasts. Covering the entire shoe with duct tape will also fix the ugly converse, by possibly making it uglier.
- Cut into a pair of unique sandals. To do this, put the shoes on, then mark out the areas that you can do away with. Many people keep the laces and cut holes out of the side, others remove the heel turning their converse into slides. This could help with the ugly converse problem by cutting away the offending portions.
- Embellish until the ugly converse are a dull memory. Add rows of rhinestones. Use the shoe as a walking charm bracelet, taking advantage of the canvas uppers that make it easy to attach dangly charms or rows of buttons. Sharpie marker patterns on the toe. Add ribbons in place of the shoe laces, several ribbons in contrasting colors can easily distract from any ugliness.
- Glue the shoe. Cover the shoe with decoupage images. Artsy magazines, political cartoons or comic books are good places to look for unique items to decoupage onto your ugly converse. This idea completely covers the shoe, creating a brand new look.